Spike Lee and I go back a long way, to “She’s Gotta Have It.” I’ve interviewed him many times, from Cannes for “Do the Right Thing (he was robbed!) and on the set of “Malcolm X” to talking on a Sunset hotel roof about “The 25th Hour,” based on the novel by David Benioff. We’ve had our dust-ups over the years too, which may be why we settle right in for this interview at the studio of photographer Daniel Bergeron, who shot a fabulous portrait of Lee for Indiewire.
We cover a lot of ground, from what being an independent meant when he started and what it means now, his changing relationship with the studios, his comments to Ava DuVernay on “Selma”‘s Oscar nominations, to his love of documentaries and some projects he did not get to make. He thanks his children for clueing him into social media, which made his ambitious Kickstarter campaign possible.
Check out Lee’s NYU protege Michael Larnell’s sharp black and white comedy “Cronies” when it gets released and Lee’s own low-budget vampire flick “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” which is on VOD and hits screens February 13.